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Bing Could Flourish As China Cracks Down On Google

Chinese internet users looking to access Google and many of its services were unable to do so after the Chinese government accused the US company of serious wrongdoings.

The BBC reported that the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang blamed Google of "spreading pornography and breaking Chinese law", adding that Google was deliberately linking to "pornographic and vulgar" websites.

He continued saying that “According to complaints from many residents, Google’s English language search engine has spread large amounts of vulgar content that is lascivious and pornographic, seriously violating China’s relevant laws and regulations”

Earlier this month, China ordered all computers sold in the country to bundle all its computers with a content filtering application called Green Dam, a move that was promptly criticised by the US government.

Malcolm Moore, a journalist for the Telegraph based in Shanghai, wrote that access to Google was blacked between 9pm and midnight on Wednesday but the ban was apparently extended.

It is not the first time that it has clashed with the Chinese authorities although it was criticised by human rights activitists for adhering to the Internet censorship policies of China. Reporters Without Borders accused Google of being hypocritical for agreeing to China's strict demands.

Google and 18 other internet websites have been named in January as providers of links to pornographic content. Microsoft's Bing could try to take advantage of the current situation. It is already applying content filters if the users use simplified Chinese characters and if they are from a China-based IP address.

The Chinese government has stepped up its efforts to control Internet content behind the Great firewall of China in the wake of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Crackdown early June.

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Our Comments

Google has been pragmatic until now which has allowed it to do business in China and it seems that the Chinese government has actually decided to go a notch further. According to Alexa, an internet analyst firm, few of the 300 million Chinese internet users visit the main mainstream pornographic websites and could well be relying on search engine instead.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.